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** FT News **

* Alibaba lifts IPO range to $66-$68 | If priced at the top of the range the company could raise $21.8bn, or as much as $24.3bn if bankers exercise their right for an over allotment of shares

* Russia’s challenge to an oil-hungry world | Consumers must be encouraged to use oil more thriftily – either through higher taxes or regulations enforcing fuel efficiency Continue reading »

After 100 days in power, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been given a cautious thumbs up by economists.

Al-Sisi, a former defence minister, won a landslide victory in Egypt’s presidential race on May 24, almost a year after he led the coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi, the elected Islamist president, from power. Political turbulence has been bruising for Egypt’s economy, which by most measures is in a worse state than it was before the advent of the Arab Spring in 2011. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Alibaba lifts IPO range to $66-$68 | If priced at the top of the range the company could raise $21.8bn, or as much as $24.3bn if bankers exercise their right for an overallotment of shares

* Asia bourses await Fed policy update | Trading across the region was downbeat as investors awaited key events later this week, including a monetary policy update from the US Federal Reserve Continue reading »

In less than 24 hours Peru’s economy – once feted as Latin America’s star and now struggling with a slowdown – suffered two blows. First, on Sunday evening, the surprising loss of its respected finance minister, Luis Miguel Castilla. Then, on Monday morning, the announcement that the Andean country’s gross domestic product grew below expectations in July.

Peru’s national statistics institute said the economy accelerated a meagre 1.16 per cent from the same month last year. This still means 60 months of continuous growth and an improvement from June, when Peru’s GDP growth nearly came to a halt, expanding just 0.3 per cent compared with a year earlier. Continue reading »

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Ever pragmatic, the boss of Pemex, Mexico’s revamping state oil company, knows the first barrels of oil extracted from the enticing deepwater prospects in the Gulf of Mexico under the country’s historic energy reform will probably be processed and shipped through existing US infrastructure.

But don’t be tempted to think that Pemex is taking its eye off Asia. Continue reading »

Investors have been awaiting an upturn in India’s economy since Narendra Modi, prime minister, took power in May. But a raft of recent data paints a mixed picture, with inflation moderating while slack industrial production conflicts with some robust consumer spending signals.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI), out on Monday, confirmed that inflation is easing, reaching a 58-month low of 3.74 per cent year-on-year in August from 5.19 per cent in July. Continue reading »

For Marina Silva, the easy part is over. The honeymoon period when she was introduced as presidential candidate is coming to an end. Now the freight train of the Workers’ Party or PT, led by incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, is catching up and if the former senator does not start to show some teeth, she could get run over.

This would at least appear to be the message from recent opinion polls. From a nine percentage point lead in a second round run-off, Silva is now neck and neck with Rousseff. Continue reading »

By Faisal Ghori, author

The best performing stock market in the world in 2013 was up 130 per cent last year*. The country it serves has a population of nearly 80m, some 40 per cent of whom are under the age of 24. It has one of the world’s highest literacy rates and is also home to the world’s fourth largest proven crude oil reserves. Which market is this? The Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), of course.

For frontier market investors, Iran remains the Holy Grail. Charles Robertson, Global Chief Economist at Renaissance Capital, believes that following the opening of the Saudi Arabian market, “Iran is the world’s last major market to open up” and could potentially be accessible in the next 6-18 months. Continue reading »

By David Clark of the Russia Foundation

The tide of global democratic change, which at the start of the new millennium looked like an unstoppable force of nature, has been turned back over the last decade. How serious and prolonged this reversal turns out to be is open to question. What cannot be doubted is the direction of travel. In its most recent annual survey, the respected think tank Freedom House recorded a net decline in world freedom for the eighth year in a row. While political rights and civil liberties improved in 40 countries, they deteriorated in 54. Continue reading »

Another week and yet another cut in the consensus on Brazilian GDP growth this year. The central bank’s weekly survey of 100 market economists has notched up 16 consecutive weeks of downward revisions to bring the consensus on GDP growth to just 0.33 per cent this year. The outlook for 2015 also fell, to 1.04 per cent.

At least the central bank’s survey is not alone. The OECD, also on Monday, in its latest Economic Outlook cut its forecast of Brazilian growth to just 0.3 per cent this year and 1.4 per cent in 2015. That’s down from an expected 1.8 per cent in 2014 and 2.2 per cent in 2015 at the OECD’s last Economic Outlook in May. Continue reading »

There are two known unknowns when looking at South America’s economies: China, and everything else. Over the past decade, the Chinese-driven commodity price boom indiscriminately lifted the region’s commodity economies, however well or badly they were managed. But now that the boom is over, the “everything else” category is starting to bite. That is true of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela– all of which, to a greater or lesser degree, are now suffering the political ructions that slower growth produces. It is also true of Peru, long the continent’s economic star. Over the weekend, Luis Miguel Castilla, the country’s respected finance minister (pictured), unexpectedly resigned from his post. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Former BP chief warns on Russia | Restrictions imposed by the US and EU risk constraining global oil supply and pushing up prices in the coming years, says Tony Hayward

* China industrial output data hit markets | Stocks fall after Chinese data show slowing factory output, as markets also look ahead to Fed meeting and Scottish independence referendum Continue reading »

Emerging markets are heading for their longest uninterrupted slide in almost two years, as Chinese growth concerns add to fears over the impact of the US dollar’s resurgence and the possibility of US interest rate hikes on the horizon, fast FT reports.

The FTSE Emerging Index of developing stock markets has fallen another 0.7 per cent today, its eighth consecutive day of declines and the longest losing streak since November 2012. Not even in the depths of the global financial crisis did the gauge fall for eight straight days.

Source: FTSE

 Continue reading »

Kenya’s big twin deficits will become a heavier burden when higher US interest rates push up borrowing costs, Renaissance Capital warned on Monday. That would batter an economy already damaged by falling tea prices and tourism revenues.

In a note, Who’s hot and who’s not? in sub-Saharan Africa, RenCap predicted that

an increasing interest rate cycle in the US from 2015 will slow the flow of debt to Kenya, particularly the flow of external debt that finances the CA deficit and half of the budget deficit. Partly because of a higher cost of external borrowing, and fall in global appetite for EM and FM assets, as yields on US debt improves. Kenya’s capital inflows are likely to slow at a time when the CA is being undermined by insecurity, which is dampening tourism revenue.

 Continue reading »

By Arturo Porzecanski of American University

José Antonio Ocampo, a former United Nations official and co-president with Prof. Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue, which promotes the adoption of heterodox economic policies in developing countries, recently wrote a guest post welcoming a UN General Assembly resolution calling for the launch of negotiations on a multilateral framework for sovereign debt restructuring. The resolution was Argentina’s initiative and it passed with the backing of a coalition of developing countries (the so-called G-77 plus China) in the wake of, as Ocampo put it, “the absurd decisions of a New York judge on Argentine debt.” Continue reading »